Growing up with his father in a small coastal town, all Ted knows about his mother is that she died when he was a boy. His father has brought them halfway across the world to start anew, but her absence defines and haunts their lives. When Ted meets Anthony and Claire, an intense friendship begins, carrying them to Sydney and university. They introduce him to poetry and art, and he feels a sense of belonging at last. But as the trio's friendship deepens over the years, Ted must learn to negotiate the boundaries of love, and come to terms with a legacy of secrets and silence. Written with extraordinary grace and sensitivity, The Ash Burner explores beauty and desire, grief and loss, and the search for one's true self.